As some of the nation’s largest companies and industries experience slowdowns because of the weakening economy, ports nationwide must proceed with caution while remaining optimistic in this unpredictable climate.
In this environment, the importance of contingency plans, to allow flexibility to react to an unstable economy, is clear. However, the long lead times and historic growth in our business mean we also must continue to be ready to respond to the future economic turnaround. We continue to anticipate future expansion to meet industry demand and at the same time to further create economic stimulus in the region.
As part of the long-range strategies for growth, we should rely on more than attaining efficiencies in our own cargo handling. The expansion of port infrastructure is one component, but intermodal options also must grow to deliver goods in the most efficient, effective way.
We are fortunate that at a time when everyone is looking at their bottom lines and exploring ways to stretch their dollars, the Gulf Coast region, in particular, remains a strong choice by shippers weathering economic storms.
The challenge for U.S. ports in today’s changing economy is to adapt to the ups and downs of the market while being prudent about future planning.